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Posts Tagged ‘writing’

Bestselling Blogs?

In Anu Lal, Books, Unclassified Intellugence on September 2, 2014 at 10:50 am
Courtesy: Google

Courtesy: Google

Blogging has been a sexy and engaging pastime for many. It’s been there for some years now. Although it seemed that the charm of blogging would wear out over the peak years of Facebook and Twitter, some recent political and cultural events have proved otherwise. Malala Yousafzai, the girl who was shot by Taliban began to raise awareness for girls’ education in Pakistan as a blogger. Like Twitter and Facebook, blogging stayed too. Unlike in the past, where you may have had just one platform to blog, like this one you are currently reading, now many other websites offer blog-spaces. Interesting experiments take place in blogging, each day. One of the most important events that occurred recently in blogging in India was the introduction of Kindle ebooks into the world of blogging. Someone combined the flexibility of blogging with the reach and popularity of Kindle ebooks. This ‘Kindle blog’ came through BW Publishing. It’s our honor to be a part of this grand mission and historical event. The writer, whose mind dreamed this idea up is none other than the acclaimed author of the Hope, Vengeance and History Trilogy and the bestselling author of You Should Know How I Feel…, Mr. Anu Lal.

Click on the title for a sample: Unclassified Intelligence

Unclassified Intelligence

Unclassified Intelligence

Bestselling author Anu Lal has taken blogging to another level. The August-September edition of the kindle edition of his blog, The Indian Commentator is coming out this month through BW Publishing. His blog, The Indian Commentator is one of India’s leading blogs and the only blog with a Kindle monthly edition, known by the name, Unclassified Intelligence.

Publishing random blog-posts in a collection is a fascinating idea, not just for the blogger. The readers too can take a copy home and cherish those amazing and useful articles, fiction, or non-fiction, art or cooking, for generations to come. Anu Lal’s topics range from books to cultural events and from movies to cyber culture. Mr. Lal has also revealed to our editors, his hope that by the end of this year, he would be able to compile a collection of his popular articles on various topics in an omnibus book form.

Recently, bestselling author Ashwin Sanghi Replied to one of his book-review tweets that involved the latest thriller in collaboration with author James Patterson, Private India. This book review has apparently been one of the top discussions in Linkedin too. Acclaimed by both national and International personalities, The Indian Commentator’s page views has shown a steady growth over the years. Thousands of readers visit his blog page http://anu-lal.blogspot.in/ every day.

Given below is the profile information on author Anu Lal, as seen on his blog:

Courtesy: The Indian Commentator

Courtesy: The Indian Commentator

The previous edition of Unclassified Intelligence has been a #2 and #3 bestseller in amazon.

Unclassified Intelligence

Unclassified Intelligence

The August-September edition of Unclassified Intelligence features eleven new articles, one of which is written by Dr. hülya n yılmaz, a published author, a freelance editor and a Liberal Arts college professor with an extensive teaching career. Her article titled “Don’t Think I Am an App!” appeared in the Indian Commentator previously.

According to Anu Lal, the idea of publishing blog articles in book form is very intimate. In his opinion, he himself would love to keep a personal copy of all that appeared on the blog over the years, in a printed book form. The amazing popularity offered by Kindle ebooks is the fact that directed him towards publishing collected non-fiction from his blog The Indian Commentator, in ebook format. However, he surely expects to bring out an omnibus edition in print by the end of this year.

“I would love to keep a printed copy of materials that appeared over the years in The Indian Commentator,” he says. When he approached BW Publishing, we were only glad to assist him in this endeavor. As one of our editors pointed out, Anu Lal’s readers too would love to keep a personal copy of his wonderful and soul-touching articles.

Truly, blogging has taken a new turn, here. Is it going backwards, to the world of books, from where it initially originated? One never knows. But the truth is, it all gets more and more exciting each time.

The previous edition of Unclassified Intelligence was made available free, and immediately, it shot into top positions in the bestseller list. Apparently, the editor was right in his comment about what Anu Lal’s readers might want.

The author has plans to release the August-September edition of Unclassified Intelligence in a week’s time. We are all set with the formatting and editing of the book and already gave him our GO. However, he is delaying the release for a few more days in order to include an unpublished and new article on “blogging” as a surprise gift for his readers.

Wow! When Author Anu Lal takes up his pen, who can ask for more!

For the time being, BW Publishing has to keep the reading community waiting.

Just a few more days.

Keep watching this space for more.

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Motivation for the Writer in You

In Anu Lal, Writing Solutions on July 6, 2014 at 5:53 pm
Courtesy: Google Images

Courtesy: Google Images

 What makes the writer in you smile? The money involved in the writing business or the chance to serve humanity through the words you write? I know the money part doesn’t hurt the majority of us, but by any standard very difficult to come by on reliable amounts, doing writing as a day job. So what is your motivation for staying in this profession?

 Bestsellers and Moneymaking:

Ray Bradbury, author of Fahrenheit 451, in one of his writing tips suggests that one should not fix one’s attention on moneymaking while plodding through the journey of being a writer. However, with success stories like Hugh Howey and Amanda Hocking flying around in the media around us, none of the wannabie writers would possibly prefer to feign ignorance towards the “money-making” aspect of writing. This, indeed, is the catch in being an indie publisher. I hope the people in BW Publishing wouldn’t disagree with me. If they do, you wouldn’t be reading this piece right now. If you are reading this part, believe me, they are a bunch of very nice people, kind and all. But each time a writer attempts self-publishing, those few glittering names might serve a tantalizing example for them to try it out at least once. This is the same reason why when my second book, You Should Know How I Feel, went into Amazon’s top-hundred bestselling contemporary romance list, I couldn’t sleep the whole night. I was excited, of course.

 Being a bestselling author is not as financially liberating experience as winning a lottery. It takes time before you make awesome lots of money. Being a bestseller currently, is a responsibility than anything else. It is a status quo, according to which people expect you to act, at least in your future writing endeavors. In that sense, it gives the writer a definite advantage. There is both visibility and a chance to look at oneself with confidence. Seeing one’s book in the bestseller list, of course raises one’s confidence levels. However, as I mentioned, it is not easy to earn a living by writing bestsellers any longer. One must keep a day job in order to experiment with a dream like ‘being a writer’. It is an experiment basically, which you are sure to win. But it also depends on how you define ‘victory’.

 This is where Mr. Bradbury’s words help us. If a writer’s focus is awards, and if one fails to secure a position in a prestigious short list for a great award, the writer fails. If a writer’s focus is on bestseller lists and money, and if one fails to make that happen in the expected attempt, the writer fails inevitably, again. The choice is simple; do you wish to be a failure in selling or a failure in writing?

If you wish to avoid being the latter, your focus should be on writing, not on selling. It is an extremely workable tactics, which most of us in the kindle-era are yet to trust. Cover design and marketing are important factors in publishing a book. However, the most important element that makes a book is its ‘life force’, the content. Much like human beings, every book has its own life force, its own soul. It is to tend and nourish the content, its soul every writer must strive each moment. This puts upon the writer the added responsibility to play God with the story. Like the invisible Creative Source of the universe and the way it tends and nourishes the human spirit, a writer must feed the content of every book with love and grace.

 Faith plays a crucial role in this attempt. I am sure every writer reading this article would be wondering where I am driving at with these spiritual interpretations for the art of writing. I would suggest that there is an added advantage to this perspective. If, as a writer your focus is on good writing and strong content, each attempt will take you a little up the ladder to the fulfillment of your dream. When you armor yourself with this perspective, you abandon the risk of trailing off in this bestselling list or that. This doesn’t mean I am belittling the importance of bestsellers. Instead, I am stressing the importance of providing quality content irrespective of your place in the list. Being noticed is just the side effect. After each work, your expertise as a writer will grow and so will your authenticity. But this could happen only if you would spend your energies in the perfecting of your craft and not over worries on acceptance by the populace.

 What others think of your craft should not be the marker of your success. If it were, you would never be able to make it big, for every bestseller-performance invites attention. The more attention, the more criticism. In fact, practicing the art with unshared attention of the author would be a definite upper hand in your life in the post-bestseller period. You would be unaffected with negative or positive criticisms by others and be a writer with a steady growth if you follow your inner call rather than what this critic or that critic thinks. Thanks to the spiritual perspective. This would work in your favor once you start mounting the stairs of success.

 Service and the Spirituality of Writing:

At this level, it must sound like a mission. The central concept of our discussion is writers’ motivation. Should it be money or the craft itself? We have already seen that giving too much importance to money and rank could jeopardize the very life force of your work, the craft, and this increases the risk of failure as a writer. Instead, if one spares undivided attention at the Glorification of Craft, there is a win-win situation in store for the writer. You will know each time that you are learning something important in terms of ‘how to tell a better story’.

 This is where one comes across the duality of reader and writer, because you are “telling something”. In order to tell something, you need someone across you to listen. However, the motivated writer should be in harmony with the Constant Reader, a terminology popularized by Stephen King, and not the money they are receiving as royalty. Storytelling and writing in general are acts that involve the undeniable dualism of the reader and the writer. This makes it a writer’s duty to give back one’s best to the Constant Reader. Giving the readers a treat with the best content, you could involve in the creative process without thinking about rewards.

 Rewards, you should take for granted, for they in a dedicated writer’s life make themselves bountifully present. Dedicating one’s craft to the service of humanity in taking the reader away into another world for escape or to impart a new idea into their minds, is a useful pretext to work regardless of the monetary reward. This is a set of regular exercise, which can help writers achieve the Glorification of Craft.

 Giving away books free, without any additional cost is an advantage of electronic publishing and a positive, selfless gesture towards the reading community. With Amazon Kindle’s Free Book Promotion tools, it’s even easier for indie authors to chose when and which book they would like to give away free of cost. From July 5 to 7, the Kindle version of my blog The Indian Commentator with a special authors’ note is available free. Because my readers have given me so much support through BW Publishing and through Amazon’s sales channels, I consider this my thanksgiving gesture, to return something back to them. Art always attains higher meaning through service.

 Free e-books are generally a marketing strategy that many traditional publishers are reluctant to take. However, when I suggested the idea, BW Publishing was very impressed and was ready to make a kindle version of my blog. They did it with impressive quality. There is no revenue intention behind this attempt. I thank my publisher for extending this warm gesture of friendship and service not just towards me but also to all the clan of my readers.

 What gives me real joy is not the number of bestselling charts this book is climbing currently, but the fact that I am giving something back to the reading community, free of any financial burden. Moreover, I am receiving the satisfaction and contentment that I envisioned through the practicing of the spiritual perspective of writing or the viewing of writing as “tending of the life force” of the creative work. These are rituals that can ground the writer in writing for higher levels of excellence rather than superfluous gains.

With love,

ANU LAL

Download Unclassified Intelligence, the kindle version of The Indian Commentator here, free.

UNCLASSIFIED INTELLIGENCE.

Anu Lal’s latest book Prabuddha: The Clear-sighted is now out on sale. Get a copy hereblog stats copy

In Anu Lal, Books, Dhanya Krishna, Wall of Colours, You Should Know How I Feel... on March 23, 2014 at 7:23 am

Dear Bountiful Friends,

You are a special group of celestial beings, destined to come across and share love among each other. Bountiful Word Publishing realizes this fact. Therefore, we started a new endeavor in this direction. This endeavor we call YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW I FEEL…, a bunch of love stories by our author Anu Lal.

With extremely high quality of performance, we have created, yet again, a book that can stand the test of time and generations to be a true classic. The stories in You Should Know How I Feel… will no doubt be your favorite ones forever.

Anu Lal, the first Indian author to write a trilogy in short story collects is all set to conquer the world with his fresh and lyrical story telling style. His language conquers and charms the readers’ minds. Through You Should Know How I Feel… he is introducing Dhanya Krishna, a very talented writer, as his co-author.

The book contains a bonus story for all the loyal readers of Bountiful Word. A surprise awaits you at the end of the book, after the bonus story!

ON SALE NOW!

ON SALE NOW!

We wish you all, a very happy reading. It’s time to rekindle your passion and love, one more time.

The Kindle version of You Should Know How I Feel… is on sale through all amazon stores across the world.

Kindly let us know how you feel after reading the humble effort of ours. Tap here for a copy of You Should Know How I Feel…  Tap

Please visit the Facebook page for more activities.

NEXT: Read an exciting article by author ANU LAL on the writing journey, in our next issue!

How to Handle the Fear to Write

In Writing Solutions on September 4, 2013 at 10:04 am
Courtesy: Google Images

Courtesy: Google Images

Oh my God! I desperately wanted to finish that story. Look! I have abandoned it. I had been working on it for the past one month. It’s been six weeks since I haven’t touched it. Would I be able to resume it? How could I do justice to the story, now, after such a long time of discontinuation? I do have some notes made from the times, while I worked on the stuff. I do not think those notes are of any help, anymore, though.

It is clear to me how vague the classification of writers would be if I categorized them based on such feelings as above. A writer, at almost all stages of his or her growth feels this way. Most of those super-successful writers may not experience it the same way, because they have the ability to pursue writing without bothering much about another day-job, but apparently have other issues that affect them the same way.

If writing gives a person immense pleasure or joy, and the person is forced to work in a bakery in order to make a living, the resulting conflict could damage the mental equilibrium of that person. Those person(s) who have no aptitude for working in a bakery, when forced to compromise their psychological ecosystem with the sophistication of an altogether different system of things, creative writing suffers. This is when one feels; “Oh my God! I desperately wanted to finish that story. Look! I have abandoned it.”

The fear for being not able to do justice to one’s work of a lifetime deserves wise handling. If not, it will consume the writer, wholly. The totality of all fears has their common grounding in the unknown. In the case of the above-mentioned writer, (let us call him Paul) the unknown part is the quality of his work. Paul does not know and fears this fact: how would it all turn out to be. How could I do justice to the story, now, after such a long time of discontinuation?

In order to undo the fear of the unknown, the simplest method can be the Jungian concept of assimilation of psychic realities. Carl Gustav Jung (1875–1961) was a German psychoanalyst, whose groundbreaking theories on human mind, guided the world into a modern-renaissance. He argues about a specific course of action through which a human being can bring out the contents of his unconscious and experience it in the conscious level in order to alleviate the pressure from the unconscious side.

This same method is useful in undoing the fear for the unknown in Paul’s case. If Paul is uncertain of the results his work could bring him after a considerable gap in the process of writing, he should first, look at the results. There is only one way he can get the result—by completing the work. Paul just needs some gut feeling to cross the initial fear.

If one is stuck with the fear of how the work would turn out to be, the possibility of writing a book or a story is obliterated entirely. It is up to you to take that step courageously. Your work deserves to be born, simply because you have such strong feeling for it. Let your fears not obligate the stopping of your creative work.

Is less, more?

In Writing Solutions on August 5, 2013 at 2:29 pm
Courtesy: Google Images

Courtesy: Google Images

Writing websites normally give this advice to their users; when you write online, write less. People tend to surf net in a hurry. No one is going to pay any serious attention to your work if you write long. Long essays are a ‘pullback’ element in blogging, they’d say. All I have to say on this is every principle fails, occasionally, and in some unfortunate cases, always.

For a beginner, an advice to write short and crippled articles, or make short blog posts would be less short of exposure to nuclear radiation. He might find a bright light in the beginning, but the rest would be devastation.

Let us come to the point.

Writing sloppy and long is a very important exercise for a beginner. Writing every day and long is an evident accelerator to self-confidence as a writer. Writing less and aphoristic pieces are apt for a well-experienced and mature writer to try in his blogs or social media writing outlets.

Every advice has its own benefits and pitfalls. The advice to write less could be a bad advice for beginner. I’d say, write more to write less.

Writing long pieces would help a person in many ways. Here are four major areas that could be helped by writing long.

1. Produce base material to fall back on later.

Writing long provides an archive to the writer that he or she can use to edit or work later on. Editing a long work can be as gratifying as creative writing itself. Editing also helps defying the phenomenon called writers’ block. Some materials that surface in the writer’s conscious awareness, while writing long, can be useful in projects he or she undertakes later. Many writers testified that they encountered information, ideas, and wisdom they never thought existed in their minds, while writing. The first Indian writer to bring a Booker Prize in Literature home, Arundhathi Roy, said that her thoughts work when she writes.

2. Helps experimenting with voice.

Writing is an act of voicing. Finding the proper voice is as important for a writer as language. Writing long is the short cut to prep and pepper the voice.

3. Help track every dimension of the core topic.

Writing long is immensely helpful in a writer’s life in the clarity it provides to oneself about the ideas that wander in one’s head. At first, every work of words begins as a random flicker of thought, which then develops into a mess of vague ideas. From this stage, if the writer wants to move forward, the best chance he or she has is to write down every bit of idea related to the topic that comes to their mind. Once written down, these ideas are recorded. They can be used later. Writing down all the thoughts should include an action irrespective of importance, order, clarity, etc. Some ideas might seem largely different or divergent from the main topic. If this prevents the writer to write long, and in full truthfulness to whatever comes to his or her mind, the juicy and delicate part of your content could never be found again. They would forever be lost in the maize of your thoughts, because the best part of your thoughts would be hidden in the wilderness of ideas you had thought useless, in the beginning. There is always an editor’s desk to save your life, to cut down your long work short. However, no one else can fix whatever you haven’t put there, just because you are lazy or extra-careful or adherent to some advice on aphorism.

4. Boosts self-confidence.

Looking at the ten page first draft of your blog post or 25 thousand words of short story would make you feel proud, no doubt.

Write more, learn the craft, then write less or more—your take.

The Importance of Being Regular

In Writing Solutions on March 29, 2013 at 4:02 pm
Courtesy: Google Images

Courtesy: Google Images

Regularity in action often turns the act into a habit and the habit is always capable of sustaining itself into time. Great many self-emancipation gurus contempt habit and ask people to move on and do things that are out of their regular rhythm and comfort zones. There is a certain truth about what they say. Especially, for a writer, it will do her great good if she prepares herself to experiment with the daily and the mundane and the spiritual and the fantastic.

Even writing these words—fantastic and spiritual gives me goose flesh. Such is the power of the fantastic and the spiritual upon human consciousness. But in order to experiment with these out-of-the-ordinary-experiences, a writer must have a strong control over the craft. In this article I am focusing on nothing else but how to manage this hold on one’s craft.

 It is an art in itself.

In order to hold onto one’s craft, one must be artistic enough to know that it takes the understanding of the rhythm of the art to do this. The rhythm indicates regularity. Regularity is the consistent interaction with a focused intention towards a cause.

Regularity with some intervals in its practice is rhythm.

To write is to follow the rhythm one’s mind allows one to be comfortable at within the premises of the art.

How one follows one’s cause depends on individuals and also on the craft they follow. For a writer, she should decide the frequency of practicing their art in consideration with what their art wants from them, what time, what attention, what diligence.

In the case of writing, it wants from the artist—everything.

Sustaining frequency is very important in developing style and craft. In order to achieve frequency, a ‘habitualization’ of the craft is crucial. Turned into a habit, the craft of telling stories will accompany the frequency, unaffected by the interventions of the outside world—the nagging family, the demanding wife, the short tempered boss of your day job and a particularly bad day in the coffee house.

But how does one achieve this? How can a habit be useful tool for a writer?

As one can see, in cases of human metabolic activity such as the activation of salivary glands at the sight of food items and the initiation of hunger at the usual lunch time, that habits can leave such tremendous impact upon us. They govern our responses both physically and mentally. Salivary glands in their daily action indicate this very truth. The ejection of saliva is both a physical and mental action. In this manner, if a writer habituates his writing activity, the act as such can flow uninterrupted at the precise time or manner that the writer practices daily. At least, the mental and physical preparedness can precede the real act of writing.

Still, it is a matter of debate whether creativity is time bound or if it could be habitualized.

Perhaps, it is not.

Hemingway said there are no great writers, but only great re-writers. This means, you have a chance if you have a draft, although not much ‘creative’ in its appearance or impact, to think about and depend on in your writing journey. The life of an uncreative story ends in the editor’s waste bin. But for a blank page, there is no life at all.

Three Fears Beginning Writers Must Avoid

In Writing Solutions on March 4, 2013 at 5:50 pm
Courtesy: Google Images

Courtesy: Google Images

Beginning writers are delicate creatures. Their eyes are especially alloyed with a certain curiosity to know what the other person thinks about their work. Beginning writers have these special set of eyes that always turn themselves towards the so-called critics or readers or commentators.

With a water canal directly linked with these specially equipped pair of eyes, they are capable to shed water unreluctantly on an acerbic remark by this very reader or critic or commentator they so eagerly looked forward to listening from.

They have special imaginary night vision goggles that they use occasionally to stare into the outer space in the darkness of their murky dens in the lonely times they spend waiting their muse. We should not misunderstand muse to be a woman. It is obvious and clear that the muse is their lost creativity. The phrase ‘lost creativity’ is not just an accidental adjective here. It has its own significance, because it indicates the beginners’ agony. Their agonies have a common hinge joint and that is the fear of ‘losing their creativity’. Even though, each time they succeed in undoing this terrible enslavement of fear the insecurities always return and the beginner feels that she has lost it all.

Oh, these Beginners!

If you feel you are the above mentioned category of species that I call a beginning writer, then you can focus on a few things in your life and change your fears into power sources.

Fear number one: what others might say. This fear is the worst one of all, because this form of fear utilizes a stealth strategy. It is hidden from our view and attacks us from behind, at an unexpected moment. Often this fear is disguised as an extremely normal and inevitable act—to see what others say about my work. It starts with a mere curiosity, a harmless small peep into someone else’s journal. Slowly, in steady but unignorable steps this curiosity grows into a habit and the habit clears space for the fear to hatch and multiply.

At this stage, the beginning writer is unable to put the pen on paper of fingers on keyboard, mostly due to the fact that he doesn’t know what his friend or critic or reader might think about what he is going to write. He had shown his work to some of them and expected good comments, but they all reverted with bad result, and he received brick backs. This warns him of failure in the future writing project too.

The solution is simple, here. What others say about you is none of your business—as Paulo Coelho puts it.

The second fear a beginning writer should identify and overcome is the fear of losing the edge. This is a constantly haunting spectre a beginner faces. A bad day at work or an exceptionally heavy work load would make her think she has just lost her knack in handling emergencies in producing creatively revealing and uplifting art in writing. This fear is a direct result of a comparison the beginner performs. She compares the amount of productivity, of course on a daily basis, in number of words or pages or articles produced, with the time available.

She inevitably ends up bringing negative results in this comparison, because as the time progresses such a beginner would often focus on quality of writing and the time spend on writing increases automatically with less ‘word count’. The reason why this is absolutely sure is that only a genuine, versatile writer feels such a fear and does such a comparison. It is after all, the urge to increase quality.

This means, it is their tendency to improve themselves that creates the lag in their production.

The third fear is the fear of looking at oneself and seeing the truth. You look in the mirror and see only the doubtful, insecure, still learning, miserable ‘beginner’. And this is surely troublesome. However, the solution is at hand as well. It is just a matter of setting the right kind of perspective for you. There are more to see in you that just the insecure beginner and only this realization can drive this fear out of your inner mind.

You already are whatever you want to be. Otherwise you never have wanted to be a writer. You are not a beginner any more.

There is no need for confusion here. It is this fear of being a beginner that nudged you into reading this article as well thinking that here you may find a solution to find the edge you always looked for.

The truth is, you already have that edge and your fears are the symptoms saying you do not identify your caliber properly.

Once you are at this part of the article, you may find that fear is just an outward expression of your knowledge or lack of it. Understanding fear is a great step in conquering it. But co-existing with fear is still greater because then you do not need to run away or try to understand it or hide from it or translate fear into some other this or that.

Courtesy: Google Images

Courtesy: Google Images

Madman’s Protocol

In Writing Solutions on March 3, 2013 at 6:32 am
Courtesy: Google Images

Courtesy: Google Images

Patterns are everywhere in human life and in the course of nature.

How do we know a crazy person, when we see one?

We just know? Or do we resort to some external behavioral patterns exhibited by the madman? Perhaps we take both ways to arrive at the conclusion, but most commonly we resort to how a man behaves to judge him mad or not. Usually, it is the features in the person’s behaviour outside the normal human behaviour that helps us nail the issue. What does this indicate?

This indicates that we observe patterns of abnormal behaviour in the person concerned. The same is true with anything and everything we write—a pattern to decide whether what you have written is meaningful and a pattern to see errors.

Even if we want to make a conscious swerve from the established norms of writing and to create some mischievous product of literature that can proclaim war on the traditional format, we still have to stick with a pattern to make that change feel visible. This pattern could be grammar.

If we are good at our online-prowl and reading-life seeking information and entertainment, we must have come across a term such as the “Grammar Police”.  The term is used to indicate not a protective element or force, or for the safety one feels with the presence of the law enforcement in a James Patterson thriller, but the frustration of having these bunches of guys watching over us. In other words, this clues us in about how this set rules in language, grammar, is being hated by young and old alike.

The much debated “grammar police” talk is mostly due to the lack of mastery of the subject. Grammar is not exactly a term that denotes the way a language works. On the other hand grammar is the answer to how the magic of words works.

Some of us feel they are incompetent in grammar and instead of admitting it and taking the necessary remedies to solve the problem they often channel their ignorance into protests against rules in language. This sounds stylish and revolutionary because many well known and celebrated writers had stood for such an attitude through their works. The Indian writer Arundhathi Roy is just one example. Do not forget William Shakespeare and the grammatical differences that we may find in his plays, from the standard of his era.

This is a bad idea for a beginner, though. Only if we are able to show our basic skills to the new reader through our work, can we establish a niche for ourselves. But how do we do this? Stop cursing grammar first. Grammar is the way you can reach into someone else’s mind. Otherwise, all your words may appear a meaningless jumble.

As beginners, we best look for the frequent errors we commit in our writing and correct them first. This can be done with the help of teachers or a writing instructor.

Just like a chisel in a sculpturer’s hand, language is the tool and help of a writer. It is therefore a routine any writer should strictly adhere to, to keep his or her language clean and free of creating any embarrassing errors. Only a madman could keep his tools unattended and destroy their tenacity.

Courtesy: Google Images

Courtesy: Google Images

Rapid Action Troops

In Thinking Freelance on January 11, 2013 at 5:07 pm
Courtesy: Google Images

Courtesy: Google Images

Someone has to do something about it.

Seriously! Rapid action troops needed. It could turn worse if no action is taken right now.

The issue is serious. Someone has skipped their mission task.

You.

You should be doing what you are meant to do, right now. You should have been performing your mission—writing.

Why are you here? Is it just the time you spend daily on reading or is it your creative block that led you to this blog? In the former case, you can learn the best ways in which you can stay motivated in your craft. In the second case, that is, if you are struggling with your creativity, the options are pretty simple. Go and write. That is the only and the most vital message this article is destined to provide you.

Ray Bradbury once said, the best way to be a writer is to keep doing your craft. By the time one attends writing classes or reading books on How to—, you could create a page or a dozen of you own creative art.

Still, I don’t disagree what once Mr. Stephen King noted about writing classes. He says it would be a good thing to attend writing classes, as they teach the students how to take writing seriously. This step is crucial in getting an armature transformed into a professional. Taking one’s work seriously means doing the big deal oneself; meaning not just starting off with a great plot with stories, but also finishing them time bound.

I presuppose while writing this article that you are a matured writer, who just passed by this blog, during one of her daily reading hours. I strongly believe, for a writer, life should be a sea of writing and ideas. On very few occasions dotted with islands of ‘reading’. Of course, Steve King also said, you must read more to write more. But I tell you this; if you would not write on a daily basis, your mind might wander off into the abyss of guilt of ‘not-writing’ and would haunt you. This might keep you aloof from the inner soul of a book. Meaning; however hard you try, getting inside a book and losing yourself within, will not be possible until you take yourself out of the guilt of ‘not-writing’.

Courtesy: Google Images

Courtesy: Google Images

Deploying an army of fast action troops cannot save your work or your career as a writer. Your creative river requires your ‘rain of attention’. If, even now, you are planning to search online for articles such as “100-ways to write non-stop” or “How to write–,” you are probably missing the action. Life exists in what one does, not in what one is intending to do. In the latter case, fortunately life is not entirely absent either, but present only as an intention, not as a fact or a certainty.

I hope you have a dream to be a writer, not just a dream to dream the dream of a writer.

Writer’s Block—a New Reading

In Freelance Tips on January 4, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Image Courtesy: Google

We carry a gene of gift within us all. Most often one could find it but stashed away behind the doors of concerns. Sometimes, uncertainties bar the gift from us. We fear about the aftermath of embracing our gifts and of being different among the line of lemmings. Our hearts might tell us how fierce are the competitions of the world and it inflames our insecurities. Whenever the question of gift comes up, we think twice; it’s never an easy choice for us, but hard; we stumble. If you are a writer, this is same with your block. Our gifts are hidden behind the door of worries due to reasons unknown to us, but have true purpose being there.

All of us have this experience when writer’s block closes off the door to our wonderful gift, the gift of transforming the unutterable into words. One of the greatest teachers ever to walk on the earth, Jesus of Nazareth, once mentioned to his disciples that if one knocks on the door, it will be opened. Each knock symbolizes initiatives. If one is ready to take initiatives, every block is meant to be open.

If a knock can open any door, definitely doors are meant to be knocked upon; in other words, doors are meant to create initiatives. Every seasonal block is meant to create some sort of initiative in the writer. It seems a hidden cosmic reaction, the purpose of which, as I mentioned before, looks out-of-reach in mesmerizing proportions.

The crucial question still stands; what are the initiatives one is meant to take in a writer’s block?

In order to understand the initiatives, one should understand primarily what constitutes writer’s block and how this state of constipation of creativity occurs. A writer’s block is a clash between the present thinking of the writer and his or her notions about how one used to think in the past. Writer’s block, in other words, promulgates its direct affiliation with the manner and ways one thinks. The writer should understand and control the thought process. This is the panacea essential for a free-flowing of creativity.

Often the major concern of a writer when one sees what is on the table, in written manuscript form, is how it should have been better had they been their past selves. This binary perspective is by definition impossible to carry out within the time-present. One cannot bring past into present or go and live in the past. The irony is that writer is the creature that can go and inhabit any landscape without being obstructed by the boundaries of time and space.

The clash between the past self and the present self is the root cause for writer’s block. In other words, the writer is unable to move out of one’s ‘thought-void’. He or she feels entirely lacking in new thoughts. This feeling is there in the base of the clash between how one used to write and how one is keeping up with it now. But even this notion contains the seeds to grow out of the captivity of stagnant thoughts, because this clash between two times and between lack and fulfillment, is essentially a clash born out of ‘self’. A writer hates what he does now and tries to embrace what one used to do because of the inability to forgive one’s self.

According to the passage of time, change in style of writing is unquestionably destined. The accumulation of experience and the number books read would transform a writer each day. It is therefore not at all a downward move of the writer, if he or she finds the writing style changed from the past. What becomes a problem is the attempt of the writer to reconcile with the changes of his own work. For this, one takes the road of self-derogation by believing that one has become incorrigibly weak. In most cases, such an attitude pushes the writer over the edge to the unending abyss of writer’s block.

This state at the core is damning. The writer’s creative paradise would sure to suffer from apocalyptic quakes of mental turbulence. The solution is simple. Forgive the self.  This is a possible creative and fulfilling solution for this conflict within the self. Forgiving one’s self and letting go of the past is the key to unlock the door to the gene of gift. What one was, a few days, months or years back never accounts for what one is, at present.

Image Courtesy: Google

So drop a word of forgiveness for yourself.